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Victoria Cruises utilises 3,000 ton ship elevator to bypass five-stage locks on Yangtze

The new ship's elevator on the Yangtze shaves hours of navigating the five-stage locks system The new ship's elevator on the Yangtze shaves hours of navigating the five-stage locks system

Victoria Cruises is utilising the recently completed ship elevator on Yangtze River sailings this coming season saving four hours bypassing a five-stage lock system.

The new ship lift is capable of elevating ships up to 3,000 tons.

Its introduction will allow Victoria Cruises' passengers to bypass the slow ship locks while experiencing the full scope of this Chinese engineering feat.

Beginning with its first regular season departure on March 16, American-managed Victoria Cruises claims to be the only cruise line to utilize the elevator which features a ship basin nearly 400ft long by 60ft wide and climbs a vertical distance of 370ft.

The five-stage ship locks take three to five hours to traverse and are utilized primarily for cargo ships, whereas the new elevator-equipped ship lock can be navigated in 40 minutes.

Its first operational use which took place in September 2016 is captured here.

Passengers will experience the new ship lift on a specially-designed sightseeing boat followed by a tour of the world's largest hydroelectric dam. The excursion will take place on day two of upstream cruises and on day four for passengers sailing downstream.

The new feature will be complimentary for the introductory year, says the river ship operator.

Construction on the ship elevator began in 2008. It is the final stage of the Three Gorges Dam project, which first commenced in 1994.

The Three Gorges Dam produces roughly 22,500MW of electricity and reduces the severity of flooding during the rainy season. It also makes it easier for cruise ships to navigate the river and explore deeper into the Yangtze's tributaries.

The project was first envisioned in 1919 by Sun Yat-sen, the Republic of China's founding father.


Posted 16 February 2017

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Mary Bond

Managing director publishing and content at Seatrade

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